Miles Cook
February 19, 2015
Photos By: Robert McGaffin

It was 1976 when Brad Herman shelled out the princely sum of $600 for this now quite otherworldly ’67 Mustang coupe. And nearly four decades later, he tells us, “I had a fairly good idea of how I wanted the car to come out and I have had 38 years to think about it.” Has he ever. And with the significant added creative input of Rochester, Indiana-based shop Mustangs to Fear (MTF), Brad has come out on the other side of it all with a finished piece worthy of all the time that has passed.

As is often the case, the $600 special started out innocently enough. “I drove the car for several years and did everything a kid could do to it,” Brad tells us. There were headers, a four-barrel carb and intake, and a four-speed swap added to the mix. He also built a new engine using the car’s original block and also, as he put it, “I had to change the rearend to a 9-inch.” The car then sat for a long time and Brad had numerous chances to sell it, but he wisely kept it through the decades.

While the look inside has a somewhat original ’67-’68 appearance, there’s actually numerous custom pieces here, including NuRelic power windows, an MTF custom center console that accepts a double-Din stereo setup, an MTF drop-in headliner that started the whole project, and vinyl-wrapped rear interior panels. Other interior bits include an MTF rollbar, an electric trunk release, and a radio-delete panel (where the original AM radio resided) that now houses Auto Meter nitrous pressure and voltage gauges. The stereo head unit is a Pioneer AVHP4400BH, while the brushed aluminum MTF gauge cluster houses more requisite Auto Meter gauges. Finally, the cabin is finished off with a pair of leather seats from a ’98 Mustang, a LeCarra steering wheel, and an ididit tilt steering column.

Circa 1990, Brad dragged the car out for a new interior but then put it away again, this time for a much-too-long 22 years. In the interim, Brad dabbled with cool late-model iron in the forms of an ’07 GT 500, an ’08 Shelby GT, and a ’12 Boss 302. But the vintage bug took hold again and he decided to “get it out and do a little work to it. And here we are today.”

And where the car is today is a long, long way from its purchase condition in 1976. Brad good-naturedly jokes that he, “made the mistake of calling Mustangs to Fear because the shop needed a ’67-’68 coupe to testfit one of its one-piece headliners.” The shop had asked him if he would like one in the car in exchange for leaving it in their hands for time to fit the part. Brad further deadpans, “I’m sure, in the long run, I paid for it one way or another.” That’s one way to say that what was to be just a headliner installation turned into a full-on car build.

Using the original block, Brad had Woody Automotive Machine build it to modern 347 specs, which is pretty standard stuff these days, with a 4.030-inch bore and a 3.40-inch stroke. Decked, line-bored, and cylinders notched for connecting-rod bolt clearance, the block is fitted with an Eagle cast crank, Eagle 5.40-inch I-beam connecting rods, and JE forged pistons. On top are Ford Racing aluminum heads that net an approximate 10.2:1 compression ratio. A COMP hydraulic roller cam has a 0.553-inch lift and a 224-degree duration. The rest of the valvetrain are also COMP Cams bits, including 1.6:1 roller rockers and pushrods. It’s all topped with an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and a Holley 650, while spark is supplied by an MSD distributor and Taylor wires. BBK headers and an MTF exhaust system round out the picture. Also visible here is a custom MTF export brace and Monte Carlo bar as well as the Concept One serpentine front-engine dress with brackets and pulleys for A/C, power steering, and alternator.
Stopping power is supplied by Wilwood calipers and 12.2-inch rotors all around. The Coys C-67 wheels are 18x8s in front and 18x9s in back with Sumitomo tires. They measure P245/40ZR18 and P275/40ZR18, front and rear, respectively.
A Rod & Custom Motorsports front suspension is on the car along with power rack-and-pinion steering. Also visible behind the engine is the car’s Tremec five-speed from Modern Driveline.
The rear suspension is a Heidts four-link. The Strange 9-inch is fitted with 31-spline axles, a Detriot Locker, and 3.50 gears.

All kidding aside, Brad is truly thrilled with the car and he gives the majority of the credit to MTF for the quality of the build. “Rich, Michelle, Susie, and especially Rich’s main guy Mark Moore did a great job on the car. Mark is very meticulous in the way he assembles the cars at the shop and we used a good majority of the MTF parts that are available for ’67-’68s. I would show up on a regular basis to have a look at the project and bring parts I had found that I wanted on the car and I am very happy with the outcome of the 11-month project. It’s exactly how I wanted it to be and I don’t know of anything I would change.”

Brad goes on to further explain that the car is essentially a full custom build. Nothing was left untouched—everything was redone, restored, changed, or upgraded. For a vintage ’65-’70-era Mustang where unlimited creativity is applied, it’s how we like to see these cars built. In this case at least, there were no limitations placed on lucky owner Brad’s desire to build the car of his dreams.

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